2599.Whoever coined the phrase "there is nothing new under the sun" obviously designed a logo. And the farther we go into the 21st century, the more it seems that influences are harder and harder to get away from.
Mitt Romney, you see, has a Presidential Exploratory Committee out. And, while we wait to see if they find one, they did have time to roll out … what else … a logo. Here it is.
There isn't anything wrong per se with it. It's a solid design - no Saul Bass or Paul Rand calibre, to be sure, but it'll get the job done. The classic type, the ligature between the E and the Y suggesting someone remembered to turn on contextual alternates; the vaguely inspiring tag line that anyone can read anything into. The graphical treatment of the R, the more I look at it, looks like three people standing shoulder to shoulder, facing the future and America's challenges – the three peoples that made America great: the red people, the white people, and the Na'vi.
But since, to a certain degree, everything borrows - eventually - from everything else. And it wasn't too long before the wags figured out that Mitt's logo has a certain minty-fresh feelng also featured by, well … this product:
This, it should be noted, is not the first time a professed Mormon and dental care have been thrown together in the same boat; 20th Century American History recalls the cultural hegemony of soft, family-friendly entertainment and sparkling teeth promoted by the Osmond family during the 1970s and 80s (and the welter of tasteless jokes about how wealthy the Osmond's phalanx of dentists must have been). But more than any percieved eminience grise of the LDS-orthodontia-industrial complex is the idea that these days, it's getting harder and harder to be interesting.
Romney's logo isn't bad, but it isn't memorable. The true triumph of working within a limited canon such as the political logo is to take every restriction and by exploiting them, create something truly interesting. And Romney's logo isn't bad … but it's not interesting. It's like they aimed for the sort of iconic impact of Obama's "O" without perhaps completely understanding what they were aiming for.